If you’ve ever been to a five-star restaurant, you’ve probably come in contact with a Wine Sommelier. These people are experts in all aspects of wine, including different blends and growing regions. To many foodies, this seems like a dream job, but if a stiff drink is more your cup of tea, becoming a Whisky Sommelier may be the track for you.
Who Can Become an Expert?
Becoming an expert in any field can be a daunting task, including the world of whisky. It often takes years of study and savouring to master the art of the drink. But don’t let the fear of time stop you from pursuing this goal. Everyone has to start somewhere, including the best sommeliers. If you have a love for whisky, you’re already past step one.
The Whiskey School of Marketing, which is the cornerstone for Whisky Sommelier testing, has 5 levels of certification. Most people who join the school usually have a background in food and beverage or have made whisky in the past. If your resume doesn’t add up to this level of experience - don’t worry. As long as you have a passion for the drink, and a willingness to learn you can move your way through the certification ranks.
Levels of Certification
There are five levels of certification to reach the ranks of the Whisky Expert. Each level focuses on a different aspect of the beloved drink, from history to the most beloved cocktails. To successfully master the first certification, you will need to prove you understand the primary whisky regions around the world. Level two focuses on Bourbon and American whisky, as well as the art of competitive whisky judging. Level three certification focuses on Scottish, Irish, and UK Whisky, along with Whisky blending. Level four is all about the craft of the cocktail; and finally, level five focuses on operating a distillery from door to bottle.
Throughout every certification level, you will be tested on your public speaking and storytelling skills. Your palate will also be tested through competency training and food pairing science. Learning all these special skills don’t come cheap. The first level of certification costs $4,000. Every level after will set you back an additional $2,000.
If you’re not ready to dive right into being a Sommelier just yet, you can still let your whisky passion thrive at home by subscribing to Whisky Loot. Whisky will be sent to your house every month, so you can enhance your palate before setting out for certification.